She was a regular victim, the kind of person who flinched when she heard a loud noise, ducked when she passed beneath an airborne bird, stepped sideways in order to avoid each time she happened to pass by a pedestrian, puddle or crack. She looked for and expected (and here I'm talking about the worst) in everything. Forget good and better, forget fortuitous, forget fate being in your favour and good fortune... As far as she was concerned, it was always cloudy outside and it rained constantly. In her model of the world life was hard, living was tough, and it had been this way for so long now it was all that she could remember.
Poor Jane: it wasn't her fault; she had been bullied since high school. Her work life was simply more of the same. In fact, the bully at work was the very same bully from school, only bigger and more powerful now, and with the addition of a title. The title demanded respect and Jane, yet to earn one, had no alternative but to follow and to obey. She knew she was often led astray. She was aware that Sydney, the bully, held a grudge, although why, she couldn't give voice to. It wasn't something specific, as far as she could tell; more an ingrained loathing that bore no logic to anything fixed or substantial. The woman hated her equally as passionately as the girl had.
Daily she tried to win Sydney's respect, to gain her approval, to make friends; or at least to make peace with the demonic female on a level that allowed a lowering of intensity and frequency, that would perhaps dilute ferocity of the attacks. And daily she met with rebuff, departing at the end of the day with her tail held between legs and her head down and snivelling. She longed to let it go, to move on, to move up from the dark pit of today into the dimly lit cavern of tomorrow, but no matter how hard she tried and how often, there was no hint of escape.
Sydney, meanwhile, carried on regardless, blighted by her own personal misfortune. Her husband was a drunk who beat her senseless with a regularity that was almost nightly. She had suffered bruises and fractures and sprains since the evening of their marriage and over the years, despite her desperate pleas, nothing had changed. Dean was a bully just as she was, the only difference being, and this was as far as she was aware, there was no one else bullying him.
She knew she ought to let it go in relation to Jane. She knew she out to give the poor woman a break. But she couldn't. If she let go of her anger, her resentment, her loathing for something so pathetic and weak, then everything else would start unravelling. The only way to survive the bully was to be a bully herself, as awful and as evil and as hateful as that was. She wanted to but she couldn't let it go, she had insufficient rope to spare for letting. Jane was hers in the same way that she was Dean's.
And as for Dean..., well, maybe he was someone's bitch too. Who knows... In all honesty, just him and the bully. It is a closely guarded secret, as his treatment of Sydney is a secret between them. These things are held close. They are buried deep. They are protected with the same fierceness I which a mother protects her young.